Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

March 28, 2011

Please Read: Joanne Siegel’s 2010 Letter To Time Warner

The entertainment journalist Nikki Finke has obtained and run copy from a December 2010 to Time Warner Inc. CEO Jeffrey Bewkes from the widow of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel. Although the temptation is to run it in its entirety, you should read it at Finke's site (the notion of "borrowing" this text from Finke should have undeniably ironic overtones given the general subject matter). Please do.

It's mind-boggling that given the money involved that an honorable arrangement could haven't been worked out at some point over the years. I used to be able to say "the money involved and the bad publicity that could result," when making that statement, but the vast majority of folks with an interest in the matter have shown themselves to either not care at all or, depressingly, to be bizarrely hostile to the families of creators when asserting their rights -- partly it seems out of fear that their access to their beloved characters be cut off.

Our industry's continuing shame is that its artists perpetually fail to be rewarded to the degree that those who exploit them, or those who perhaps without guile are simply the beneficiaries of time and legal advantage, gain and gain mightily. Many of these agencies and individuals have gone so far as to make a commodity out of a pursuit of justice and moral outcome that they turn around and diligently ignore. I hope for the best possible outcome for the Siegel and Shuster families, and for every family like them. More than that, I hope for a different ethos for the comics creative community and the industries that should serve it, not the other way around.
posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink

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